South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination programme is lagging behind a host of other countries worldwide and has fallen behind at least six African countries a Bloomberg global vaccine tracker shows (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)
South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination programme is lagging behind a host of other countries worldwide and has fallen behind at least six African countries a Bloomberg global vaccine tracker shows (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

How South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination programme compares to other countries

By Lee Rondganger Time of article published Apr 8, 2021

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Durban - South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination programme is lagging behind a host of other countries worldwide and has fallen behind at least six African countries a Bloomberg global vaccine tracker shows.

Out of 168 countries that have begun administering the Covid-19 vaccine, South Africa places 79 on the list as of April 5 - after vaccinating just 0.5% of the population.

In fact, African countries such as Morroco, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya and Senegal have vaccinated more people than South Africa.

According to the Bloomberg tracker, to reach 75% of the population - the point at which life would return to normal - at the current rate of vaccination, it would take South Africa 10 years.

At the current rate of vaccine roll-out, the USA will vaccinate 75% of its population within three months, Chile within in four months, the UK five months while the world would take 1.8 years.

According to Bloomberg, more than 704 million doses have been administered across 153 countries. The latest rate was roughly 16.1 million doses a day.

According to ourworldindata.org, South Africa administered 272, 438 Covid-19 vaccines - mostly to frontline health workers - as of April 6. In comparison, Morrocco administered 8.38 million, Nigeria, 964 387, Ghana, 500 00 and Rwanda, 348 926.

While the USA leads in terms of the number of people vaccinated (171,476,655), Israel leads the world in terms of percentage of the population vaccinated with 10,184,486 people vaccinated representing 56.3% of its population.

These figures come on the back of Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announcing on Wednesday that 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are set to be delivered to South Africa after the government signed a deal with the company.

This is in addition to the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) agreement that will see the country acquire 31 million does.

Mkhize said the conclusion of the agreement would set the stage for “a significant and rapid expansion of our vaccination programme”.

The final tranche of 200 000 J&J doses for the Sisonke Protocol are expected to arrive on April 10.

Adressing the National Assembly committee on health earlier this month, Mkhize said they hoped to vaccinate about 41 million of the adult population over a period of a year.

The plan shared with the health portfolio committee showed that Phase 1 will run from February 17 until May 17, targeting 608 295 healthcare workers.

This will be followed by Phase 2 that will run from May 17 until July 31, targeting 5 449 980 people, and Phase 2b from August to October 31, aimed at 12 900 160 people.

Phase 3 will run from November to February 28 targeting 22 600 640 people.

Asked about the speed of the roll-out, Mkhize said they were slowed down by the delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccines which were found to be ineffective on the South African population and had to be re-sold.

“If it was not for that, we would have vaccinated as many people, but the delay has been a result of the fact that we could not use those vaccines, and of late we started with Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”

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